To Certain Journeymen
Undertakers, hearse drivers, grave diggers,
by Carl Sandburg
I speak to you as one not afraid of your business.
You handle dust going to a long country,
You know the secret behind your job is the same whether
you lower the coffin with modern, automatic machinery,
well-oiled and noiseless, or whether the
body is laid in by naked hands and then covered
by the shovels.
Your day's work is done with laughter many days of the year,
And you earn a living by those who say good-by today
in thin whispers.